Sara Maria King, a 25-year-old resident of Detroit, has been charged with leaving her two young daughters alone and unsupervised at home. The two girls, aged 6 years and 8 months, were discovered by a neighbor, standing on the home’s front porch on Tyler Street at about 2:30 in the afternoon, shouting for help.
According to a statement made by the Prosecutor, “The 6-year-old went outside on the porch and yelled to neighbors for help. A neighbor took the girls to her house and called the police. When the police arrived at the girls’ home they observed that there was no heat or lights and the home was in terrible condition.”
The two children were taken to a local hospital, where they were given a full medical check up. This is done to ensure that there are no signs of malnutrition, dehydration or abuse. After they were cleared for medical release, CPS workers placed the girls with a relative temporarily. It remains to be seen whether or not they will remain in the care of relatives, be placed in the foster system, or returned to King’s care.
According to Prosecutor Kym Worthy, King is being charged with two counts of Second Degree Child Abuse. Under Michigan law, this charge refers to “a parent or guardian’s willful failure to provide the food, clothing, or shelter that a child needs for their basic welfare, which then results in serious physical harm to the child. Or, it could also refer to knowingly or intentionally committing an act that is likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to the child, even if the child is not actually harmed.”
Second Degree Child Abuse is a felony in Michigan. It is punishable by up to ten years in prison for the first offense, and up to twenty years in prison for all second and subsequent convictions. For people with prior criminal records, this could also impact their charges, as the prosecutor may decide to charge them as a habitual offenders.
King was arraigned in 36th District Court before Magistrate Bari Blake Wood. She was granted a 10 percent bond of $75,000. Her probable cause hearing has been scheduled for February 9th at 8:30, and the preliminary examination will follow at 9 am on February 14th before Judge Shannon Holmes.
CPS in Michigan will often view a messy or disorganised house as an “unfit home.” This can have a direct impact on how they view the parents, often labeling them ‘unfit’ as well. Unfortunately, for single parents struggling to find daycare while they work, or having difficulties paying their bills on time, poverty can also impact whether or not CPS views you and your home as ‘fit.’
We do not know the full story here, as not all of the details have been made public, but we urge our readers to reserve judgement about this mom until they know all of the facts. Things are often not what they appear. Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of having an unfit home, or not meeting the basic needs of a child in your care, call us immediately at 866 346 5879 . We have spent years battling CPS and we understand what this process involves. If you need help with CPS we are here to help you.